Escape to this stunning harbour town south of Aberdeen. Stone Heaven is known for its pretty coastline and extravagant Hogmanay celebrations.  Tourists that visit here are charmed by its sandy beaches and long-lived traditions. It is a must-see town if you are visiting Aberdeenshire. Read this guide for the the best things to do in Stonehaven and hotels in Stonehaven.

Things to do in Stonehaven.

Stonehaven is a wonderful holiday destination in Scotland and tourists from all over the world travel here to enjoy the great number of activities it has to offer guests. 

My Voyage Scotland chooses its top recommendations for things to do in Stonehaven below.

Dunnottar Castle

dunnotter castle stonehaven

Game of Throne? Nah mate. Aberdeenshire.

Is this Scotland’s most photagraphed castle? It’s deffinately up there with Eilean Donan Castle.

This stunning castle ruin in Aberdeenshire is a four-star Scottish Tourist Board attraction and probably the best thing to do in Stonehaven. Once you visit here you will never forget its dramatic and beautiful presence in this part of Stonehaven.

You will find this breathtaking spot perched on a high cliff on the edge of the North-Sea. Dunnottar Castle is listed by thousands of tourists every year as many want to see the place where William Wallace, Mary Queen of Scots, the Marquis of Montrose and the future King Charles II have all graced. 

 Stonehaven Tolbooth Museum

Tollbooth museum things to do

This interesting building located on Stonehaven’s quayside has a wonderful history. The museum was once a courthouse and jail and visitors to this popular tourist attraction love hearing about some of the stories from its past life. 

RSPB Fowlsheugh reserve

Nature things to do in stonehaven

Not far from Stonehaven you will find the RSPB Fowlsheugh reserve. This spot comes close to something you would see in a David Attenborough documentary as its spectacular cliffs are packed with 130,000 breeding seabirds during the spring and summer months. This is hans down one of the top things to do in Stonehaven.

Fireballs Ceremony

fireballs festival things to do

I have personally attended this and it is absolutely wild! In a good way.

Tourists will travel from all over the world to join in on Stonehaven’s famous New Year’s Eve celebrations. On the 31 December, every year locals will host an ancient fireballs ceremony, where brave men and women will swing blazing fireballs above their heads to ward off evil spirits for another year. 

Scottish food and drink are also involved, leaving many with a sore head on the first day of the year. The town is packed during this time and you may find it difficult to secure accommodation in Stonehaven if you do not book in advance. 

Stonehaven Folk Festival

stonehaven folk festival things to do

The Stonehaven Folk Festival has been running for more than thirty years! One weekend every summer this quiet harbour is brought to life by some of the best Celtic and folk musicians in the country. 

Throughout the event, you can take part in its evening concerts in the Town Hall and informal workshops and concerts through the day. 

During this weekend the town also hosts the World Paper & Comb Championships and a unique Aqua Ceilidh in Stonehaven’s art deco open-air swimming pool. 

Stonehaven Sea Safari

dolphins things to do stonehaven

All aboard the famous Stonehaven Sea Safari! This is an excellent option if you are looking for family activities in Stonehaven. Outdoors experts will take you on a tour of Stonehaven’s unforgettable coastline, where you will experience the thrill of a Sea Safari boat. 

During this trip tour guides will try and get you as close as possible to rare Scottish wild and sea life. You may spot the local dolphins and colourful puffins on your travels. 

Hotels in Stonehaven

Although Stonehaven is small there are still plenty of hotels in Stonehaven to choose from. Below we list some of our favourites.

The Marine Hotel

the marine hotel stonehaven

This four-star beauty is a great choice if you want to be near the town’s harbour. Guest can choose to stay in the hotel’s Deluxe Double Room with Sea View which is a great size for couples on a romantic getaway. 

If you want to get to know the locals, there is an excellent bar downstairs in The Marine Hotel with lots of beer and whisky options. 

Guests who have stayed here in the past have rated the hotel for its excellent traditional breakfast options.

Arduthie House

Arduthie house

This bed and breakfast in Stonehaven has a great selection of rooms making it suitable for solo travellers, couples and families. 

The rooms here have everything you need for a short stay, including a  private bathroom with a hairdryer, complimentary toiletries, and shower.

If you are planning on travelling into the city of Aberdeen during your stay it is 15.5 miles from Arduthie House and just over 21 miles from the nearest airport. 

Station Hotel 

Station Hotel Stonehaven

Great location! Guests that stay at this convent hotel in Stonehaven are always impressed with its facilities as there is a restaurant, bar, garden, and free WiFi on site. 

This is a great choice for those travelling in groups as family rooms are available. Rooms at the Station Hotel have everything you need for a comfortable stay including tea and coffee facilities and a flat-screen TV.

The Royal Hotel – Number 44 

Royal hotel number 44

Location, location, location. This is not the only benefit of The Royal Hotel Number 44. This hotel on the seafront of Stonehaven ticks many boxes. 

It is a 10 minutes’ walk from Stonehaven Railway Station and the medieval fortress of Dunnottar Castle and Dunnottar Woods are just 5 minutes’ drive away. 

Rooms here are excellent and in the morning guests can enjoy a traditional Scottish breakfast while looking out on to Stonehaven’s stunning golden beach.

Shorehead Guest House

shorehead hotel

This pretty four-star guesthouse is located on the town’s waterfront. Guests that visit here enjoy the fantastic views of Stonehaven Harbour from the hotel.

You can choose from a selection of comfortable rooms at Shorehead Guest House, each has an en suite with free toiletries. The rooms here are simply unique are their interior is inspired by a local designer.

Camping in Stonehaven

camping in stonehaven

Due to the beautiful outdoor areas in Stonehaven, many choose to camp here during there stay. Stonehaven’s Camping and Caravaning Club has excellent facilities and it is extremely popular when events are hosted in the town, make sure that you book in advance.

If you are travelling to this lovely town fo the Stonehaven Folk Festival, local volunteers also run a special campsite for festival-goers. 

This temporary site is located at Mineralwell Park, guests with tents are charged a reasonable £10 per night and those with caravans/motorhomes are charged £12 per night.